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Cinnamon 3.8 Desktop Environment Released with Python 3 Support, Improvements

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Linux

Scheduled to ship with the upcoming Linux Mint 19 "Tara" operating system series this summer, the Cinnamon 3.8 desktop environment is now available for download and it's a major release that brings numerous improvements, new features, and lots of Python 3 ports for a bunch of components.

Among the components that got ported to Python 3 in the Cinnamon 3.8 release, we can mention cinnamon-settings, cinnamon-menu-editor, cinnamon-desktop-editor, cinnamon-settings-users, melange, background slideshow, the switch editor and screensaver lock dialogs, desktop file generation scripts, as well as all the utilities.

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AV Linux Multimedia-Focused OS Gets New Stable Release with Meltdown Patches

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GNU
Linux
Security

AV Linux, the open-source GNU/Linux distribution designed for multimedia content creation, has been updated recently to version 2018.4.2, a release that adds Meltdown mitigations, updated components, and various other enhancements.

Probably the most important change in the AV Linux 2018.4.2 release is the implementation of the KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) patch to protect users against the Meltdown security vulnerability, but only for 64-bit installations. The distribution is now powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.9.76 kernel, and users can disable the KPTI patch at boot.

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Nearly 15 million Nintendo Switches are now hackable (other NVIDIA Tegra X1 devices too)

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GNU
Linux
Security
Gaming
Gadgets

Earlier this year hackers started to show evidence of an exploit that allowed you to load custom software on a Nintendo Switch game console. Theoretically that opens the door for homebrew applications, modified games, or even running an alternate operating system such as a GNU/Linux distribution on Nintendo’s latest game system. It could also make it possible to run pirated games, which is why console makers usually don’t encourage this sort of thing.

But now a team of hackers called ReSwitched have described a bootrom vulnerability called Fusée Gelée that makes it possible for anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch… assuming you’re willing to do a little hardware hacking too.

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Purism's Librem 5 Linux Phone Will Support Ubuntu Touch, Thanks to UBports

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Linux
Ubuntu

Lead by talented Linux developer Marius Gripsgard, the UBports Foundation keeps the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS developed by Canonical, the company behind the widely-used Ubuntu Linux operating system, alive for various popular smartphones, including Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, OnePlus One, as well as the BQ Aquaris M10 FHD tablet that was designed to run Ubuntu Touch in the first place.

Now, Purism and UBports are partnering to offer the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the upcoming Librem 5 Linux phone, which raised more than $2 million last fall​, promising to be the privacy and security-focused smartphone you've been expecting for a long time. While not the default OS, users will be able to easily run Ubuntu Touch on the Librem 5 phone.

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also: UBPorts Ubuntu Touch To Be Supported By The Purism Librem 5

Stable kernels 4.16.4, 4.14.36, 4.9.96, 4.4.129 and 3.18.106

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Linux

How to Run Android Apps and Games on Linux

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Android
GNU
Linux

Want to run Android apps on Linux? How about play Android games? Several options are available, but the one that works the best is Anbox, a useful tool that runs your favorite Android apps on Linux without emulation.

Here’s how to get it up and running on your Linux PC today.

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Also: 8 Best Android Apps For Kids To Help Children Learn With Fun | 2018 Edition

Record Terminal Activity For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server

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Linux

At times system administrators and developers need to use many, complex and lengthy commands in order to perform a critical task. Most of the users will copy those commands and output generated by those respective commands in a text file for review or future reference. Of course, “history” feature of the shell will help you in getting the list of commands used in the past but it won’t help in getting the output generated for those commands.

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Linux Kernel Maintainer Statistics

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Linux

As part of preparing my last two talks at LCA on the kernel community, “Burning Down the Castle” and “Maintainers Don’t Scale”, I have looked into how the Kernel’s maintainer structure can be measured. One very interesting approach is looking at the pull request flows, for example done in the LWN article “How 4.4’s patches got to the mainline”. Note that in the linux kernel process, pull requests are only used to submit development from entire subsystems, not individual contributions. What I’m trying to work out here isn’t so much the overall patch flow, but focusing on how maintainers work, and how that’s different in different subsystems.

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Kernel and Graphics: BUS1, Linux 4.17 RC2, Wayland's Weston and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • BUS1 Still Remains Out Of The Mainline Linux Kernel, But DBus-Broker Continues

    The BUS1 in-kernel IPC mechanism born out of the ashes of KDBUS still hasn't been mainlined in the Linux kernel, but its code is still improved upon from time to time. At least though DBus-Broker as a new performance-oriented D-Bus implementation continues gaining ground in user-space.

    DBus-Broker was announced last year as a new message bus implementation of D-Bus focused on high performance and reliability while continuing to offer compatibility with the original D-Bus implementation.

  • Linux 4.17-rc2 Kernel Released With Mostly Routine Changes

    Linus Torvalds has announced the availability of the second weekly test release for what is becoming the Linux 4.17 kernel.

  • Wayland's Weston Gets Optimizations For Its Pixman Renderer

    Wayland's Weston reference compositor with its Pixman software-based renderer back-end has received a number of performance optimizations.

    Fabien Lahoudere of Collabora posted a set of patches today to optimize the Pixman renderer for Weston. In particular, there are optimizations around compositing damage to the screen as well as optimizing the shadow buffer usage. The Weston Pixman renderer is often used as a software accelerated fallback in cases where no GPU hardware acceleration may be available. As implied by the name, it uses the long-standing Pixman library that is also used by Cairo, the X.Org Server, etc, for pixel manipulation on the CPU.

  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver For ARM Mali Can Now Render A Cube

    The Panfrost open-source driver project previously known as "Chai" for creating an open-source 3D driver stack for ARM's Mali Midgard hardware now has a working shaded cube being rendered using the open-source code as part of its new "half-way" driver based on Gallium3D.

New Terminal App in Chome OS Hints at Upcoming Support for Linux Applications

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OS
Linux

According to a Reddit thread, a Chromebook user recently spotted a new Terminal app added to the app drawer when running on the latest Chrome OS Dev channel. Clicking the icon would apparently prompt the user to install the Terminal app, which requires about 200 MB of disk space.

The installation prompt notes the fact that the Terminal app can be used to develop on your Chromebook. It also suggests that users will be able to run native apps and command-line tools seamlessly and securely. Considering the fact that Chrome OS is powered by the Linux kernel, this can only mean one thing.

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today's howtos

Graphics: VC4 and AMDVLK Driver

  • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted
    For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support. On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.
  • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel
    Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the "V3D" DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver. As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.
  • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles
    With last week's release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That's now been fixed. With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers. Read more

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd
    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28. The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.
  • Guix on Android!
    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.
  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android
    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.